Memorial of Saint Pius X, Pope

Radix malorum est cupiditas.
(trans: The love of money is the root of all evils.) 1 Timothy 6:10a

 … and some people in their desire for it have strayed from the faith and have pierced themselves with many pains.  1 Timothy 6:10b

In today’s passage from Matthew’s gospel, we read:

Are you envious because I am generous?

Talk about a question that cuts to the heart!

No, I’m not envious!  I’m just upset that you’re not being fair.  The guy down the hall works part-time and gets paid a fulltime salary, the same as mine.  It’s not fair!  It’s not just!

Take sibling rivalry, if that’s closer to your experience.  Why does she inherit X from Mom and I only get Y?  He always was Dad’s favorite because he’s the baby of the family.

My friend, I am not cheating you.
Did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage?
Take what is yours and go.
What if I wish to give this last one the same as you?
Or am I not free to do as I wish with my own money?
Are you envious because I am generous?

If we choose not to compare ourselves to others … to siblings, coworkers, neighbors, friends … we have greater freedom to develop our personal relationship with God and, arguably, we don’t know that the special treatment we receive from God is any differently oriented toward someone else than toward ourselves.  And by the way, why shouldn’t God’s generosity, his justice, his mercy, be individually apportioned?  After all, we’re not all robots with the same programming, but unique individuals, each one loved into existence by God Himself.

Have we not experienced … can we not appreciate how God lavishly, individually spoils us with generous gifts every day?  Why worry about the guy up the block?  About my little brother or sister?  About the recent, part-time hire whom the boss seems to like more than me?

Lord, help me to be aware of and grateful for the ways you lavishly pour out gifts to me and not be so concerned with the other person with whom you also choose to be generous.

August 21st, 2013